Tidying Up to Spark Joy and Promote Personal Wellness

Tidying Up to Spark Joy and Promote Personal Wellness

Nov 03, 2017Madison Abernethy


On today’s blog, we’re interviewing the first and only Certified KonMari Consultant in the Canadian Prairies, Helen Youn! Using Mari Kondo’s famous KonMari Method, Helen works closely with her clients to help them transform their living spaces to achieve a relaxing home, and create a lifestyle that will bring them the most joy.

Helen Yuon


First, let's start with the basics! How would you explain the KonMari method to someone who had never heard of it before?

The KonMari method is a tidying method developed by Marie Kondo, the Japanese author of international best sellers “The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up” and “Spark Joy”. It’s about identifying what truly sparks joy for you, keeping only those items and organizing everything efficiently so that everything has a place and are easy to access.


How did you first come to discover Marie Kondo and the KonMari Method?  Why did she inspire you so much?

I was introduced to the book “The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up” about 3 years ago by a few friends who read it and couldn’t stop raving about it. I didn’t think I had a clutter issue at the time but was intrigued enough to download the book one day on a whim. Marie Kondo has a way of explaining things that really spoke to me. I love the idea of living a life full of joy and using tidying as the method to get there. I could relate to so much of what she wrote in the book and it gave me clarity that I was keeping too many items just because or just in case. I realized I have a clutter issue after reading the book and going through my own KonMari tidying festival really changed my life!


Living room

"Our goal in tidying should be to create a living environment filled with the things we love." - Spark Joy, Marie Kondo // photo via @oh.eight.oh.nine


Marie recommends treating tidying like a special event. For many people, it can feel like the exact opposite. Why is it important to celebrate something  that feels like a chore?

Tidying is a special event because if you fully commit to the process, you can do it once and not have to think about it anymore. I see the KonMari Method of tidying as a process of acknowledging your past, recognizing where you are in life currently and identifying where you want to be in the future and how you want to live your life. Taking this step towards living the life that will spark joy for you is definitely a special event.  


KonMari focuses on sparking joy at home, but how can the methodology help in other settings? In the workplace?

Interesting fact, Marie Kondo actually started her business helping not only friends at home but also the executives at her workplace. The Spark Joy concept still works in a workplace setting but instead of being about living your ideal lifestyle, it’s about helping you succeed at work and support you to do your job better.


KonMari in the Office

"With a tidy desk that brings you joy, your work efficiency is bound to increase!" - Spark Joy, Marie Kondo // photo via @homeyohmy


What about the digital aspect of modern work? For example, many people feel overwhelmed by digital clutter, notifications, and the inability to ‘turn off’.

Smart phones have made it almost impossible to disconnect. I think it’s important to look at your life overall and think about your ideal lifestyle so you can prioritize what is truly important to you so you can decide how to split your time. It’s important to take the time to do this so you can live more intentionally. It will also be more clear to you what are important and what are just clutter. 


What component of the method do you find personally hardest to follow? 

The idea to empty your handbag at the end of the day. I have a hard time with this because I carry the same items everyday and I only have one handbag for everyday use. I don’t empty my bag every single day but I do whenever I know I am changing what I’m bringing with me or if I will be using a different bag to suit different needs. The most important thing is everything has a home even when it’s out of your handbag.


KonMari purse

"Create an environment where your bag can have a rest by designating a specific place to store everything you usually carry inside it." - The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up, Marie Kondo // photo via @christina_plastelin


What have been some of the most dramatic transformations you've seen in people's lives as a byproduct of them eliminating clutter? 

Marie Kondo says life truly begins only after you have put your house in order. I honestly believe this to be true. It’s so common for people to change careers or even ending unhealthy relationships after people eliminate their physical clutter. Once the physical clutter at home is gone, people start thinking about what spark and doesn’t spark joy in other parts of their lives. It also helps people to live more intentionally and live a life that sparks the most joy for them. 


What’s next for you and your work? What advice would you have for people looking to declutter their professional life and be more productive?

Nothing brings me more joy than to help people through their tidying process. I believe it can truly change lives for the better so this will be my main focus and I will continue to help Marie Kondo’s mission to “organize the world” as a Certified KonMari Consultant. My advice for everyone is to invest the time in themselves and do this process fully. As you go through each category, you’ll hone your own sensitivity to what sparks joy for you. Once you complete your home, you’ll be able to apply the same principles to other areas in your life and this will help you in the long run going forward.


Helen Yuon


Thank you so much, Helen! 


Have you used and loved the KonMari Method? Interested in giving it a go in the near future? Let us know in the comments below! 


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